Central Government Schemes
Dharmendra Pradhan launches PMUY scheme in Delhi
On April 8, 2018, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan launched Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) scheme in Delhi.
i. During the launch event, Mr. Pradhan distributed about 400 LPG connections to families belonging to below poverty line category.
ii. PMUY was launched in May 2016. The objective of this scheme is to provide deposit- free LPG connections with monetary assistance to women from below poverty line (BPL) households, thereby preventing health hazards emanating from usage of unclean cooking fuel and fossil fuel for domestic cooking purpose.
iii. PMUY is administered by Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
iv. PMUY has so far transformed the lives of more than 3.5 crore women. Target under this scheme has been increased from the existing 5 crore connections to 8 crore connections by 2020.
PM Modi to inaugurate first health centre under Ayushman Bharat Scheme
On April 14, 2018, on the occasion of Ambedkar Jayanti, Prime Minister Modi launched first of 1.5 lakh health and wellness centres, planned under the recently launched Ayushman Bharat Scheme, at Jangla village in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh.
i. Under this scheme, Government has set a target to set up 1.5 lakh wellness centres by 2022 to deliver comprehensive primary healthcare. Other component of this scheme is to provide insurance cover to most deprived Indian population.
Government launches first tranche of Sovereign gold bonds for FY19
Government of India has decided to issue Sovereign Gold Bonds 2018-19
i.These bonds will be issued by Reserve Bank India (RBI) on behalf of the Government of India. Subscription Date: April 16, 2018 to April 20, 2018. Bond Certificate will be issued on May 4, 2018
Denomination: 1 gm multiples
Issue Price: Rs. 3114 per gram. The issue price is the simple average of closing price of gold of 999 purity published by the India Bullion and Jewellers Association Limited for the last 3 business days of the week preceding the subscription period. Discount of Rs. 50 per gm for those who subscribe online and pay through digital mode.
Tenure: 8 years
Interest Rate: 2.50% per annum, payable every 6 months.
Exit Option: From 5th year onwards, to be exercised on interest payment dates
Minimum Size: 1 gm
Maximum Limit: 4 KG for individual, 4 Kg for HUF and 20 Kg for trusts and similar entities per fiscal (April-March) notified by the Government from time to time.
Sold By: Banks, Post Offices, Stock Holding Corporation of India (SHCIL), National Stock Exchange (NSE) and Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE)
The Sovereign Gold Bonds Scheme was first announced in Union Budget 2015-16. Consequentially, the first tranche was issued in November 2015.
There were two objectives behind launching Sovereign Gold Bonds. Firstly to reduce the demand of physical gold and thereby reduce the import bill of the country.
Benefits of Sovereign Gold Bonds:
i. The investors get stipulated interest on the bonds and can also get the benefit if the price of gold appreciates in future.
ii. These bonds are highly liquid, just as physical gold. These bonds can even be placed as collaterals while seeking loan.
PM Modi to launch Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan from MP
On April 24, 2018, on the occasion of National Panchayati Raj Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Madhya Pradesh's Mandla district and launched the Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan at Ram Nagar.
i. Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA) is aimed at helping Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) to develop governance capabilities to deliver on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through inclusive local governance with focus on optimum utilisation of available resources.
ii. The roadmap includes utilisation of Rs. 2 lakh crore funds for development of areas under tribal panchayats.
iii. During the course of this visit, PM Modi also unveiled a plaque to mark the laying of foundation stone of an LPG bottling plant of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) at Maneri.
Van Dhan Scheme launched by PM to help increase tribal income
On April 14, 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Van Dhan Scheme of Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) during the celebrations of Ambedkar Jayanti at Bijapur, Chattisgarh.This scheme is for socio economic development of tribals living in forests, for whom, collecting Minor Forest Produce (MFP) is a major source of livelihood.
i. Value addition will fetch better prices and will thereby increase the income of tribals engaged in this activity.
Under Van Dhan, 10 Self Help Groups (SHGs) of 30 Tribal gatherers will be constituted.
ii. Each SHG will trained and provided with working capital to add value to the products, which they collect from the jungle.
iii. SHGs will be linked to facility of primary processing in a Van Dhan Vikas Kendras.
iv. Working under the leadership of Collector, SHGs can then market their products not only within the States but also outside the States. “Van Dhan Vikas Kendra” is for providing skill upgradation and capacity building training and setting up of primary processing and value addition facility.
v. The first “Van Dhan Vikas Kendra”, to be set up in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh will provide skill upgradation and capacity building training to 300 individualsand will have a primary processing and value addition facility.
vi. It will be set up at an estimated cost of Rs.43.38 lakhs.
Swachh Bharat Mission launches GOBAR-DHAN to promote wealth and energy from waste
On April 30, 2018, Union Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation, Uma Bharti launched the GOBAR (Galvanizing Organic Bio-Agro Resources) - DHAN scheme at the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) in Karnal, Haryana. Ms. Bharti launched this scheme in presence of Haryana Chief Minister, Manohar Lal Khattar.
This scheme was announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley while presenting Union Budget 2018.
i. This scheme will be run by Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin). Under Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin), over 3.5 lakh villages, 374 districts and 16 States/UTs across India have already been declared open defecation free (ODF).
ii. GOBAR-DHAN scheme will be a part of ODF-plus strategy, focusing on management of solid and liquid waste in villages.
GOBAR-DHAN scheme – Objectives and Salient Features:
i. Funds required to setup bio-gas plants will be provided by central and state governments in the ratio of 60:40.
ii. Government has set a target to setup nearly 700 bio-gas units in different states under the scheme during 2018-19.
Atal Pension Yojana subscriber base touches over 97 lakh by end of FY18: PFRDA
As per data released by Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA), subscriber base of Atal Pension Yojana (APY) stood at 97.05 lakh at the end of the financial year 2017-18.
i. It is administered by Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA).
ii. All Indian citizens in the age group of 18-40 years are eligible to subscribe for this scheme.
iii. Depending on the age at entry and amount of contribution, every subscriber will get a guaranteed pension in the range of Rs. 1000 – Rs. 5000 per month after he/she attains the age of 60 years.
iv. The scheme is being executed across the country through APY service providers comprising Public Sector Banks, Private Banks, Regional Rural Banks, District Cooperative Banks, State Cooperative Banks, Urban Cooperative Banks, Department of Posts and one foreign bank.
v. There was an addition of over 48.21 lakh APY subscribers in 2017-18.
vi. Subscribers have been given online access to their statement of transaction (e-SOT) and Permanent Retirement Account Number (e-PRAN).
vii. Besides, a mobile application has also been introduced, through which, customers can view their account details.
Union Home Minister launches e-FRRO scheme
On April 13, 2018, Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh launched the web-based application ‘e-FRRO’ (e-Foreigners Regional Registration Office).
i. Under the current system, foreigners staying in India on Visa duration of more than 180 days have to get themselves registered with their respective FRROs. Similarly, foreigners requiring different kind of visa related services such as Visa extension, Change of address, Visa Conversion, Change of Educational institutions, Exit permits etc. are currently required to visit the FRROs.
ii. By using e-FRRO application, foreigners in India would be able to get as many as 27 Visa and Immigration related services from the comfort of their place of stay, through email/post without appearing in person at the FRRO office.
iii. e-FRRO was introduced in four FRROs (Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai) on February 12, 2018. Now it has been rolled out in the remaining eight FRROs viz. Kolkata, Hyderabad, Amritsar, Cochin, Thiruvananthapuram, Calicut, Lucknow and Ahmedabad.
Target year of completing PMGSY-1 advanced to 2019 from 2022
On 16th April 2018, the Union Rural Development Ministry said that, the government has advanced the target year for completion of phase one of rural road scheme PMGSY (Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana) to 2019 from 2022.
i. The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) was launched in 2000. It has provided connectivity to 1.52 lakh habitations (85.37 % out of the total 1.78 lakh eligible habitations).
ii. The Union Rural Development Ministry said that due to the need and urgency of rural roads for national development the target date for completion of PMGSY-I has been preponed from 2022 to 2019.
State Government Schemes
TN Government rolls out Amma Free Wi-Fi zones
On 5th April 2018, the Tamil Nadu government launched Amma Free Wi-Fi zones in 5 cities of Tamil Nadu.
i. This scheme was announced by former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in September 2016. It was said that Wi-Fi zones will be set up in 50 spots, mainly in larger bus terminals, parks and commercial complexes.
ii. Amma Free Wi-Fi zones have been introduced at the following five locations:
1. Labour Statue at Marina, Chennai
2. Central Bus stand at Salem
3. Central Bus stand at Tiruchirappalli
4. Gandhipuram Bus Stand in Coimbatore
5. Mattu Thavani Bus Stand in Madurai
iii. Users of Amma Free Wi-Fi zones will be offered 20 minutes of free internet service per day. After that the users will be charged Rs 10 per hour.
iv. This scheme will be implemented in 50 spots by Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation (TACTV). Cost of this project is Rs 8.50 crore.
Ganga Hariteema Yojana launched in 27 districts of Uttar Pradesh
On April 7, 2018, Ganga Hariteema Yojana (Ganga Greenery scheme) was launched in 27 districts of Uttar Pradesh, located on the bank of river Ganga.
i. The scheme was launched by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath at Allahabad on the bank of Sangam, the confluence of rivers of Ganga, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati.
ii. It envisages carrying out plantation drives in one-kilometre areas from the banks of river. The objective is to enhance green cover in the catchment areas of the river Ganga and to control the land erosion.
iii. Uttar Pradesh’s Department of Forest has been nominated as nodal department for this scheme, while total seven state government departments will be engaged in implementation.
iv. The scheme will be carried out till September 16, 2018 (Ozone Day).
Kerala CM launched Pravasi Pension Scheme
On 21st April 2018, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan launched Pravasi pension scheme.
i. The Pravasi Pension Scheme offers people hailing from Kerala but living outside the state or country, a pension of Rs 2,000 a month.
ii. People aged over 60 years are eligible for this scheme. To avail this scheme a person has to pay Rs 100 per month.
iii. They should register in the scheme launched by Kerala Pravasi Pension Board. The contribution will be for five years. The scheme is not applicable for state and central government employees.
Major electrification scheme launched in Nagaland
On April 20, 2018, Nagaland launched "Saubhagya, Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana", aimed at electrifying over 90000 households across the state by March 31, 2019.
i. Under this programme, electricity will be provided to 66766 rural households and 24,566 urban households in Nagaland.
ii. The programme will be monitored by Rural Electrification Corporation (REC).
iii. In remote areas where electricity connection is not possible, efforts will be made to provide electricity through Solar Photovoltaic (SPV) system.
Venkaiah Naidu launches Assam government’s cashless health scheme
On 18th April 2018, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu launched 'Atal Amrit Abhiyan', a health scheme of Assam government that provides free medical care of up to Rs 2 lakh for every person from Below Poverty Line (BPL) and Above Poverty Line (APL) families.
i. Atal Amrit Abhiyan will cover 92 % of the Assam's population with annual income below Rs 5 lakh.
ii. Assam state government has allocated Rs 400 crore for the scheme in the financial year 2018-19.
iii. The scheme has been named after former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Tripura CM Biplab Kumar Deb launches state component of PMKVY in Agartala
On April 7, 2018, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb launched state component of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) in Agartala.
i. PMKVY is a skill development initiative of Government of India aimed at encouraging aptitude towards employable skills and increasing working efficiency of probable and existing daily wage earners, by providing quality training to them.
ii. Tripura has thereby become the first North East Indian state to implement state component of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) through Directorate of Skill Development (DSD).
Pradhan Mantri Ujwala Yojana Launched in Telangana
On April 14, 2018, on the occasion of 127th birth anniversary BR Ambedkar, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan launched Pradhan Mantri Ujwala Yojana (PMUY) in Telangana.
PMUY was launched in May 2016. The objective of this scheme is to provide deposit- free LPG connections with monetary assistance to women from below poverty line (BPL) households, thereby preventing health hazards emanating from usage of unclean cooking fuel and fossil fuel for domestic cooking purpose.PMUY has so far benefited more than 3.5 crore families.